Alumni

Sport management alumnus hits home run with career built on selling fun

By Mitzi Bible, October 31, 2019

Kevin Camper (’93) was one of the first students in Liberty University’s sport management program, but he never thought that his fascination with sports would eventually take him to Major League Baseball, the Olympics, professional bull riding, and now NASCAR.

Camper is the senior vice president of sales and marketing for Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the world’s most diverse motorsports facility. He manages several different events every day. In a city that never sleeps, it’s no surprise that the facility hosts more than 1,400 events a year, from NASCAR tripleheader weekends and VIP driving experiences to large music festivals and multiple conventions.

“We’re not just a NASCAR track. We can host events for anywhere from 10 to 35,000 people,” he said. “Forty-five million people come into our city each and every year, mostly for conventions; the largest conventions in the U.S. are here.”
And Camper keeps pace with all of it.

“Anything in the day-to-day business operations, I probably have my hands in the middle of it,” he said.

Camper, originally from Salem, Va., played on the Flames Baseball team, so it was a natural fit when he landed a sales job with the Texas Rangers immediately after graduation. It was an exciting transitional year for the team, as it prepared to move into its new stadium, Globe Life Park in Arlington. Camper was right in on the action; for three years, he coordinated season ticket sales for the new ballpark.

“After graduation, I was focused on going to work in baseball and maybe had hopes of someday being a sports agent, and I even thought about law school. But when I went to work at the Rangers, I decided I didn’t want to leave sports — the people were great. It was a great team, and we had a really neat time.”

Camper also spent 20 days working with the Atlanta Olympic Committee and was assigned to the beach volleyball venue to manage customer service care.

Then he heard that another new sports facility was coming to town — Texas Motor Speedway. Speedway Motorsports Inc., which currently operates eight speedways around the country, including Las Vegas, was building its first track in Dallas from the ground up. It was yet another chance for Camper to have a front-row seat to the opening of a new, major sports venue. He was hired by the speedway to direct ticket sales and operations and worked his way up to director of business development and later served as vice president of sales and marketing.

“Within a span of five years I was able to be there in Texas to open two new sports facilities in the early ’90s — it was kind of a neat deal,” he said.

In 2009, he left Texas Motor Speedway to become the chief revenue and marketing officer for Professional Bull Riders Inc. and lived in Colorado Springs for two years. Then, in 2011, he moved to Las Vegas to take the reins of the speedway’s sales and marketing team. One of the first large-scale events he hosted was the city’s first Electric Daisy Carnival – the biggest electronic dance music event in the country. Now in its ninth year, the festival draws 450,000 people over three days.
Camper said Las Vegas is a place he never would have imagined his career would take him. But he and his wife, Meredith, and their two children, Chase, 16, and Emma, 14, have made the city their home and have found a strong faith community there.

He said sport management is a unique field where he gets to deliver a product to the customers that is unlike any other: fun.

“When you’re in the sports business, you’re in the fun business. We’re selling fun to people every day,” he said.
It’s also an exciting time to be a part of NASCAR, he added, especially when one of the drivers is a Liberty student who is racing a car on your track with your alma mater’s name displayed on the hood.

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

“Not a week goes by that I don’t get a text message from somebody in our business saying, ‘Hey, your school is out in front,’” Camper said. “It makes me proud to see what’s happening with LU and NASCAR and what a great individual and ambassador William Byron is for Liberty. He’s a great young man, he’s in line with a great group of people at Hendrick Motorsports, and it’s really exciting to watch his growth.”

Camper said he also represents Liberty himself whenever he gets the chance.

“I’m able to tell people all the time about Liberty. I say, ‘Look, here’s a great place to go get an education from and have a wonderful experience from a spiritual standpoint. I think there’s no other place like it.’”

When he thinks about his college years, he has fond memories of his small group, a tight-knit baseball team, going to chapel service three times a week, and being inspired by some of the best speakers in the country.

“I was surrounded by strong, solid Christians,” he said. “We were grounded to where we didn’t have to worry about getting into things we shouldn’t be into. That’s made me who I am today from a standpoint of making sure I die to myself every day and do the things I’m supposed to be doing. It’s not always easy, but there is a greater call and you hold on to the hope, and those thoughts will get you through.”

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